Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New England Boiled Dinner

My mom always makes corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day, so now I do, too. Although, I love it so darn much - I need to start making it other times of the year, too! Once every twelve months is definitely not often enough.

We always called it "corned beef and cabbage," but there were other things in it. Now, after being introduced to the endless array of food blogs, recipe sites, and the online world dedicated to the love and photography of food, I've seen the term "New England Boiled Dinner" and realized it was what I've always known. Even the corned beef packets have it on there, too!

You'll need:

- a big ass pot (that's the official title)
- corned beef brisket (preferably on sale for $1.68/lb.!)
- potatoes (make sure you pull off the sprouting eyes right before snapping the pic so you don't embarass yourself)
- carrots (I have nothing special to add)
- cabbage (yay BSI!)
- onion (optional)

Put the corned beef and brine juices into the pot and cover with water. You can add the little spice packet that comes with it, but for some reason my parents have an unnatural hatred for the little spice pack and it always gets thrown out. I just always assumed it must be horrible, so I throw it out, too! hahaha Add a few caraway or fennel seeds of your own and simmer the meat for 2-3 hours, depending on size, or until the internal temperature reads at least 160°.

While the meat is cooking, I get all the vegetables ready and have them sitting in a big bowl in the fridge, for when the meat is done. I don't think my mom ever added onion, but I saw a few recipes with it and it always gives the juice more flavor - so why not? Core and cut the cabbage into big chunks and peel and cut the potatoes and carrots. One of my potato pieces had this design on it. Do any of you see Jesus or Mary? Maybe I could have sold it on eBay for some big bucks, instead of just tossing it out.

Once the meat is done, pull it from the pot. Throw in the vegetables, minus the cabbage and let them boil until they're al dente. Last, throw in the cabbage and let it cook for just a few minutes, while the rest of the vegetables are finishing.

While the vegetables have been cooking away, I like to trim the fat from the beef and cut it into bite-sized chunks. Once the veggies are tender, I throw the meat back in and VIOLA! I got tonight's dinner (in the pot), a container for the fridge of leftovers for later this week, and a container for the freezer. All from a $4 sale brisket, 3 potatoes, 5 carrots, a head of cabbage, and a small onion! Not bad - those Irish really knew what they were doing stretching a meal to feed many mouths!

You can serve this on a platter, family-style, or ladle right out of the pot. We usually eat it out of the pot with some of the broth in a bowl, almost soup-style.

I never did get around to making the Irish soda bread, maybe next year...

** Don't forget to submit your BSI cabbage entries to christina at dinneratchristinas dot com before next Sunday!! **


Nowheymama said...

Sometimes my mom adds some turnip or parsnip or rutabaga, too. Mmmm....

Anonymous said...

YUM!!! I love corned beef!

Anonymous said...

That looks awesome, and I think "big ass pot" should become the official term. That's how I think of mine! :-)